Ketchikan Independent Shore Excursions

Overview

On many cruises, Ketchikan will be your 1st Alaskan port on northbound cruises or your last Alaskan port on southbound cruises. It’s the southeasternmost city in Alaska with a year round population of 8,050 according to the 2010 census. Ketchikan is on the western coast of Revillagigedo Island.

What to See and Do

Ketchikan is known as the Salmon Capital of the World and is one of the best ports to enjoy a fishing charter. Different salmon species are available at different times in the season with the best fishing typically happening later in the cruise ship season.

Ketchikan is also known for having the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles. The totem poles can be viewed at 3 different locations - Totem Heritage Center, Totem Bight State Park and Saxman Native Village. All are easily accessible for the cruise ship passenger. Totem poles are also scattered throughout the Ketchikan area.

Taking a Misty Fjords flightseeing or boat trip is a breathtaking experience. The Misty Fjords flightseeing trip can be combined with a scenic boat ride, glacier landing or bear viewing. Misty Fjords can also be seen by boat – this makes for a longer excursion but offers non-stop sightseeing along the way.

Creek Street – Once Ketchikan’s red-light district. The houses are built on stilts over Ketchikan Creek and are now home to many shops.

History

The site was originally a fishing settlement for the Tongass and Cape Fox Tlingit Indians. Ketchikan as we know it today was founded primarily to take advantage of the huge salmon runs. The 1st cannery opened in 1886 near the mouth of Ketchikan Creek. By 1936, 7 canneries were in operation and produced 1.5 million cases of salmon.

Weather

Ketchikan features an oceanic climate. Winters are cool but mild and summers are mild with an average high in the low 60’s during most of the cruise ship season and average lows in the low 50s. Precipitation is frequent here. Summer is the driest time of year however rain can be expected on roughly ½ of the summer days.